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How to
Lighten Skin Discolorations

Skin discolorations
come with many names: e.g. freckles, age spots, melasma, and PIH. These are all
classified as hyperpigmentation, defined as skin darkening caused by abundance
of melanin.

The location
of excess melanin pigmentation is important. It is either in the outer
(epidermal) layer or the inner (dermal) layer of your skin. If the skin
discoloration is very pronounced, the excess pigment is probably in the outer
layer. Subtle marks indicate deeper layer of pigmentation.


If the
excess melanin is in the deeper dermal layer, like dermal melasma, the
discoloration can be most difficult to treat. Topical remedy won’t work.
Fractional lasers will not help either. The practical remedy is just a cosmetic
cover up. The good news is that positive results have been achieved with multi-session
Nd:Yag laser treatment.

Fortunately,
most cases of skin discolorations are the epidermal type, like freckles and age
spots, and non-dermal melasma.


Freckles
are usually hereditary, with melanocytes producing more than the normal melanin
pigments. The more you are exposed to the sun, the darker the freckles get. Daily
sun protection is a must!

Age spots
are small brown patches of the skin, the cumulative effect of unprotected sun
exposure since birth. The number of pigment producing melanocytes is increased,
leading to dark brown spots. Once age spots are formed, they remain pretty
stable in their color even if you get more sun exposure.

Melasma
is triggered by hormonal fluctuation, during pregnancy, and aggravated by sun
exposure.
Exfoliate and lighten skin discolorations
with DERMAX Retinol C serum

Treatment
options for epidermal discolorations are:
  • Topical treatments with sunscreens and lightening
    creams & lotions
  • Peels, combined with topical treatments
  • Dermal roller
  • Fractional lasers and Nd:Yag laser
Save on
unnecessary expense by consulting first with your dermatologist. They are
trained to diagnose if you have dermal or epidermal type of pigmentation. They
will then prescribe the best treatment option for your specific skin condition.
 

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This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on August 5, 2014 . The author is the CEO of SkinStation. He
received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional
Regulation Commission (PRC) for his achievements in the field of
cosmetic chemistry. Skin Smart aims to clarify facts and myths on skin
care. Send your questions and comments to info@skinstation.ph.
 


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